Showalter talks about Nick Markakis’ struggles at the plate (with Pie note)

One of the biggest issues surrounding the Orioles lately has been the continued lack of production from right fielder Nick Markakis.

Markakis does not have an extra-base hit over the last 15 games and 64 at-bats and has just two over his last 24 games. He has now gone 10 games without a multi-hit contest.

Buck Showalter discusses Nick Markakis’ struggles with the media

“I think it’s been frustrating for him,” manager Buck Showalter said. “A day or two goes and you think he is on his way, then he has a couple that frustrates him. I look at every day as the beginning of something that is closer to what Nick has spoiled us with for a long time.

“I know the work that he is putting in is outstanding. It’s not a case of not wanting it. He gets after it every day. He’s a tinkerer. Sometimes from pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat and game to game.

“I think once he gets it going, he’s going to stay locked in for a long period of time. He’s had some periods. He was probably our best hitter in the spring and probably the first few days,” Showalter said of Markakis, who is batting .244 with four doubles, four homers and 17 RBIs.

Markakis has just two hits over his last 20 at-bats the past five games.

“I don’t see where people are getting him out,” Showalter said. “Nick’s doing some things that aren’t things he normally does to have success. He’s aware of it. It’s just, sometimes you want four hits in one at-bat.

“And it’s got to be a double or home run. That’s not a good mindset to be in. Think he is fighting that because he wants to make a contribution so much. Every at-bat, every play.

“No one has played a better right field than Nick has. A lot of guys would have carried their offense out there.”

Showalter started Markakis at first base Wednesday at Seattle. But don’t look for that to happen again soon.

Showalter was asked how he felt Markakis fared at first.

“My opinion or his? No, he’s already come by and said ‘we are 1-0,’” Showalter said. “I think if he played over there four or five days he’d be above average. But Nick’s our right fielder and that’s where he’s going to play. I needed to get Vladdy (Guerrero) off the field and needed to get Luke a day with his arm.

“I’m hoping it’s the only situation that presents itself like that this year, but don’t tell Nick that.”

Pie update: Felix Pie fouled a ball off his right foot during batting practice and limped off the field with trainer Richie Bancells in pursuit to check on him. Pie told reporters after BP that his right foot, which was taped, is fine and he will remain in tonight’s lineup.

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